A few hours after retiring from this Tour de France in which he was participating for the first time in his career to prepare for the MTB event for the Tokyo Games, Mathieu van der Poel assured that he would participate in the race again. ‘next year.
This will perhaps console the fans of Mathieu van der Poel (26) still in shock at his departure from the Tour de France the first week just over. After retiring from the event, in which he was participating for the first time in his career, in order to prepare for the MTB event for the Tokyo Olympic Games, of which he will be the overwhelming favorite, the Dutchman immediately made an appointment for next year.
If he did not go on forever for his big debut on the Grande Boucle, that does not prevent the quadruple cyclo-cross world champion from already thinking about the next edition, and looking forward to coming back to the Tour. In any case, he has already promised the organizers that they could count on his presence again in 2022. “Mathieu told me that he had spent a great week and that he would come back next year” , assures one of the directors of the Tour de France Thierry Gouvenou, interviewed this Monday in The team the day after the hasty but expected departure of one of the great leaders of this first week.
Already the darling of the public!
Winner of a stage (the 2nd) and yellow jersey for six days, the leader of the Alpecin-Fenix team could hardly even do better in the seven days remaining in the race. “I had a dream week,” admits the man who already enjoys a fairly unique popularity rating for a rider who has just discovered the Tour. “He had a positive impact on the public, but he also caused great damage in the peloton”, notes Gouvenou, also delighted to have finally been able to count on whoever can aim for the final victory as soon as he has progressed in the mountains. Only present on the first of the two alpine stages, Saturday, the grandson of the illustrious and late Raymond Poulidor did not really have the opportunity to test himself at high altitude. Maybe that will be the case in 2022. Unless he decides to take the tangent again after a few days. In any case, he will be there again. And that is already excellent news.